Sudbury seniors find warmth, companionship on annual shopping trip
More than 50 seniors participated in this year's Keeping Seniors Warm event
Tammy Carré and Bill Sykes examine their winter clothing haul, as they wait in line for the cash at Giant Tiger in New Sudbury.
Sykes is one of more than 50 seniors who participated in this year's Keeping Seniors Warm event.
The annual initiative pairs seniors with volunteers to go shopping for $150 worth of coats, hats, mitts and other winter essentials.
Participants are also treated to lunch and afternoon tea at the Lockerby Legion Branch 564.
Sykes, a retired nurse, learned about the event at the Elgin Street Mission. He was looking for new clothes after some of his were stolen.
"I ended up with just about nothing left for winter clothes, so I decided maybe I better do something to get some help," he says.
Event offers companionship, dignity
Carré was Syke's shopping partner. She recently retired, and has been looking for ways to give back to the community.
Carré says the event is an opportunity to reach out to seniors in need.
"I have an elderly mother, 88 years old, and I know that they need a little extra help doing things, receiving things," she says.
"I find with seniors, too, they're so proud. They're so afraid sometimes to ask for something. And it just warms my heart to see we can do something to help them and to keep their dignity."
Carré adds that the event is about more than just winter clothes — it's about companionship.
"[Bill] says he's a person that stays alone. He doesn't have a lot of friends. So he needs this. I find that ... not just seniors, every single person needs somebody to interact with."
Keeping Seniors Warm is a partnership between the Greater Sudbury Seniors Advisory Panel, Community Action Networks and the Lockerby Legion 564 Ladies Auxiliary.
The event is supported by donations from the community.